If you are new to the world of clothing fashion, it can take a minute to get acquainted with the industry jargon. So, what is a tech pack, and why is everyone talking about them? A tech pack is a group of files that contains all of your component instructions like patterns, sizing, measurements, trims, labels, and material selections.
Unless you are working with a manufacturer who is creating these files for you, the clothing cannot be produced without the tech pack. It is pretty common for clothing brands to create their tech packs before selecting a manufacturer. These spec sheets outline all of the details for how a garment is to be made.
What is a Tech Pack?
The goal of the tech pack (or spec sheet) is to provide clear and detailed information to the manufacturer so that they can turn a concept into a finished product. Tech packs should increase standardization across your product line while reducing the time and money needed to produce samples or correct errors.
What's Included in a Tech Pack?
While each garment will include details unique to the project's styling, there is a standard set of expected information that you should always include in your tech packs. What goes into it?
Technical sketches are proportionate, accurate, and detailed illustrations of the garment design. These drawings are also known as CADs, fashion flats, or technical flats. These sketches should show different angles of the garment and its construction.
Sample Sizes and Measurements
Have you ever noticed the differences in sizing between different brands? As long as the sizing is consistent across the brand, these variations may be ok. But it would be frustrating for shoppers if there was a lot of inconsistency in one brand or even one garment. Providing gradings in your tech packs will help standardize sizing across your brand.
Additional detailed drawings and instructions for where to place artwork and how to space stitching should accompany the designs in the tech pack. Don't leave the details up to the manufacturer; provide as much detail on how you want the garment produced as possible.
Bill of Materials
A bill of materials (BOM) provides a detailed list of every component, down to individual poly bags used to create the garment. This BOM dictates purchasing decisions and affects inventory tracking, and errors on this document can cause serious production delays.
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Stitches and Seams
Detailed information on seam allowances and stitching widths should accompany the patterns in the technical documents. Again, don't leave any creative decisions up to the production team. Give precise details on every step of creating the garment.
All components of the tech pack should include standardized identification information like your company name, garment name, sample size, date, and version number. Put this information on your sketches, grading guides, diagrams, bill of materials, and patterns.
A tech pack is an important piece of information that helps facilitate communication between the buyer and the manufacturer. Accurate and complete tech packs lead to fewer errors, faster production runs, and lower costs.
Detail and accuracy are extremely important when creating your tech packs. Errors in the specifications will lead to errors in production. And since the tech pack serves as an agreement between you and the manufacturer, you will be on the hook for those costly errors.
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Designing a Tech Pack
In most cases, tech packs are designed by a technical designer or a fashion designer with a technology background. The sketches are different from creative sketches. These drawings are less artistic and more architectural. It is common to use computer programs like CorelDRAW mockup technical sketches and diagrams.
Additional Benefits of Creating Detailed Tech Packs
If being a good steward of communication between your company and your manufacturer isn't incentive enough to put time and effort into your tech packs, here are some additional benefits.
- Get accurate pricing from manufacturers.
- Get products on the shelves faster and spend less time setting up production.
- Tighten the reins on quality control.
- Facilitates smooth projects with fewer emergency changes and missed deadlines.
The benefit of providing thorough specs and tech details to your manufacturers helps keep everyone on the same page. These documents prevent surprises and help manufacturers better allocate resources, and provide more accurate pricing.
With fewer questions, the plant can get started on your garments faster. Good tech documents eliminate the need for multiple rounds of samples, which facilitates more efficient production. This efficiency saves both you and the manufacturer valuable time and money.
The hardest part of working with a manufacturer is communication. Well-designed tech packs can ease the pain points of communication by laying out all of the details in print form so that both parties can reference the details. Good digital renderings and precise measurements provide specs that are easily reproducible and define clear boundaries for quality control, both of which improve the quality of your brand.
The Bottom Line
A thorough and accurate tech pack is essential. This means that a good technical designer is invaluable to your brand. Finding someone who can articulate the fashion designer's vision in a computer-aided draft of detailed instructions to produce the product can save your company a lot of money in production.
Tech packs are not only the industry-standard in clothing manufacturing, but they are very beneficial for creating an efficient production process. Some manufacturers will create these for you, but you will see more benefits if you hire a technical designer in-house.
Pond Threads Manufacturing can help you get your products produced and ready to sell fast! We support e-commerce integration, on-demand production, and drop-shipping to make your fashion brand dreams a seamless reality. Contact us today to get started.